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Getting the Most out of Group Therapy
Here, we have included some suggestions to help you with the “how to” of being in
any of the groups we offer. Our goal is to help you make the most of your group experience
at the Carruth Center.
- Participate in the group! No matter how hard it may feel at first, you will make
the progress when you get involved. Remember – it’s your group!
- Make the group part of your life. In other words, don’t think of group as something
that happens one day and then forget about it until next week. After the group
session, think over what happened. Take a few minutes to write down reactions,
feelings, or questions. Then talk about them next group.
- Speak in the first person, using “I” statements. When you say “I think” or “I
feel,” you take ownership of your ideas and emotions, which helps people connect
with you. Along with this goes the parallel idea of not speaking for others—”I
nk Joe is feeling ? ” When you feel the pull to do this, stay with yourself
and your own reactions: “I’m feeling uncomfortable right now because I’m
wondering how Joe is doing with this.” Or take the risk of asking directly:
“Joe, how are you doing?”
- Expect periods of silence. Although they may seem uncomfortable at first, creative
things can happen during quiet times in the group. Sometimes, it opens up a
space for someone to share who may not have done so before.
- Remember to respect the confidentiality of what other members share in the group,
just as you expect them to keep what you share in confidence.
By joining the group, you are making a commitment to the other members who
will come to count on you. Be sure to let the group know in advance if you
have to miss a session. Always call if you’re running late.